Period sex! I'll be honest, I’ve never fully embraced a menstrual appreciation each month. I’m often in pain, emotionally unsettled and constantly worried about leaving a red stamp behind me wherever I’ve sat. However, I'm horny. #Facts

Our world is rife with shame imposed on menstruating bodies, vaginal fluids and women’s sexuality. It can be tough to feel sexy on your period, despite being horny. It’s ok not to want sex on your period. It’s also ok not to want to have sex with someone on their period.

If you do want to sex it up and find pleasure on your period, there are lots of ways to navigate the common things that hinder hooking up during menstruation.

Reasons why people don’t have period sex:

  • Smell
  • Mess
  • Taste
  • Blood makes them queasy
  • Body shame
  • Ick factor*
  • Safety concerns with bodily fluids
  • Don’t feel sexy during period

*There's nothing wrong or dirty about going down on someone on their period. If you're not into it, that's ok. If you don't feel sexy about it, skip it. But if you're grossed out about blood on your chin, you might be able to navigate that if you want to.

Reasons why people do have period sex:

  • Cuz they can or want to
  • Some people are hornier on their periods
  • Increased wetness and fluids feels good for some
  • To relieve cramping or general unwellness feeling by getting all the feel good body chemicals that orgasms have to offer
  • Their periods are so long that making this a no-fly-zone time is just unrealistic (me!)
  • To enjoy the eroticism of menstrual sex

Having sex during menstruation.

Smell.

There are all kinds of shaming stereotypes about periods. These stem from misconceptions that periods and vaginas are smelly and “unhygienic".

Period blood does have a metallic smell. Regularly changed tampons and menstrual cups reduce the likelihood of this odour. Also, showering together before sex can be foreplay and rinse away any iron pussy scent.

Sticky sex.

Blood gets sticky. While this may look like beautiful, blood-stained art on someone’s face, fingers or genitals, for others the aesthetic isn’t pleasing nor is the sticky, and sometimes flaky, feeling on our skin. Here are some tips for minimizing the stickiness:

  • You can keep gentle, unscented baby wipes by the bed for a quick clean up.
  • On a sex break, you can use a wet towel to wipes down. Make this sexy by kissing or dirty talking while you wipe each other down.
  • Have a shower together and wash away the reminders of your hot sexy time down the drain during a soapy make out session.
  • If you don’t normally use condoms, you can use them to reduce mess on toys, penises and even fingers (if you don’t have a glove available). Consider internal condoms (also known as female condoms) as well. Internal condoms also allow for blood and fluid free transmission when a toy, fingers or a penis moves from one orifice to another.

Bed sheets look like a murder scene.

Undeniably, period sex can be messy on your bed linens. Those of us with lighter periods will inevitably have a smaller mess than those of us with heavier flows.

I have a Liberator Throe blanket that is meant for protecting your sex surfaces from fluids, like semen, squirt, saliva, lubes and blood. They are an investment in terms of cost, but they are sexy and machine washable. Mine is conveniently red.

Here are some mess-reduction tips:

  • You can pre-plan and put on your “period sheets” (old sheets that can withstand a stain)
  • You can throw down a dark-coloured towel or two
  • Use disposable puppy training pads
  • Use disposable plastic sheets (or cheap shower curtains) underneath your sheet
  • Move pillows, duvets and comforters off the bed, you never know where you’ll roll around or place bloody fingers or toys in the throes of passion.
  • Wash anything that was blood splashed in very cold water right away – if you don’t have access to an in-home washer, just make sure you run the stained items under ice cold tap water directly onto the stained part (maybe add a little scrubbing action). This will prevent the blood from setting into the fabric.

Not feeling all the bloody mess.

Some people get queasy around blood and some people love the extra lubrication and wetness that's possible in period sex. If you're in the lock-down-the-blood camp, there are great products to help you minimize discomfort and mess:

Navigating communication.

Whether your date is a new partner or an existing long-term partner, you may wonder….Do I need to warn them about my red sea? I used to tell dates apologetically and offer them an out in the same sentence:

‘Hey, I know we’re supposed to play tonight, but I have my period and not sure if you’re cool with that, but if you aren’t, that’s ok.’ [insert me pre-empting a date cancellation]

Now, I go with:

‘I’m so turned on that we’re going to hang out tonight. Heads up: I have my period, so let’s sext about what sexy things we’re both comfortable doing.’

The second approach conveys my confidence in period sex (i.e. I'm ok with it if you are) and horniness. It also treats menstruation as a fact rather than an apology. There's an opening for conversation about all the different ways to have sex or maybe a sexy menstruation date where my uterus isn’t a buzz kill. AND it gives my partner a chance to respectfully bow out if they aren’t comfortable.

Nope, it's not ok to just expect the menstruating partner to perform oral on the other person.

Try having a conversation outside of a sexy time and outside of a period time to get a sense of what their take on period sex is. It may be a non-issue or you may discover it's a solid 'nope'. This conversation can be a lovely opener into all kinds of non-vulva or non-penetrative focused sexual pleasure that is possible for sex dates. It’s also totally ok to just say you don’t feel like having period sex.

Explore menstrual eroticism.

Explore how you feel about your own blood and then see how it feels when you imagine it in an erotic way. Is the primalness hot for you (read this story)? Is there a gyno/medical fetish to explore? Is being vulnerable by exposing such a private time with someone else hot for you? Is the consistency, smell or visual of the blood erotic for you? Is the turn on that your partner accepts and desires you at any time of the month? Is the idea of seeing your blood on your partner’s face, body or fingers sexy? Do you use it in a fantasy as part of submission or domination?

You can eroticize your period. Here are some things you can do while sexing it on your period that you can’t at other times of the month:

  • Body blood stamping
  • Watching menstruation together in the mirror
  • Menstrual Worship

If after exploring your feelings towards sex or masturbation on your period you still end up with NOPE, that’s ok too. You do you!!

Health and safety stuff.

Blood, like other body fluids (e.g. semen, vaginal fluids) can transmit certain sexually transmitted infections. Deciding to have sexy times on your period with someone else, means considering the use of barriers – just like other types of sex that involve fluid exchanges. You can have period sex without exchanging fluids, by using condoms, dental dams and gloves. And yep, you can get or give a sexually transmitted infection during period sex and pregnancy is possible.

So, should you have sex on a period?

Ultimately it’s up to you. Learning about period sex and reducing period shame helped me have options for sex.

Periods are only one part of sex - they can be an opportunity for creative sexy solutions by refocusing your attention and energy on other erogenous zones or bringing eroticism to menstruation itself . You have lots of options, *including* abstaining from sex with yourself or someone else on their period.

Is period sex a Yay or Nope for you? Let me know in the comments!

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